Handy article, especially for those deep in the ‘capitalist realism’ (or neoliberalism) that the author describes.
Although co-ops and DAOS are both collectively owned and co-determined organizational forms, there are some key differences. Primarily, cooperatives have one-member, one-vote governance. This means that people vote, not dollars. No single member of a cooperative can purchase more power than anyone else.
While it is possible for DAOs to emulate cooperative governance, it’s more common to observe the easier-to-implement governance pattern of one-token, one-vote, since verifying one’s personhood is still a nascent field in the world of blockchain.
From my experiences in the two spaces, I have noticed that DAOs tend to be better at enabling collective ownership at scale, even if their cultural understanding of the rights, responsibilities, and accountability associated with ownership is comparatively underdeveloped. And while cooperatives tend to be less successful in securing funding, they are also more likely, through their sober rejection of capitalist realism, to correctly address the root causes of inequity. Below, I’ll share some of the key takeaways I have gleaned about what DAOs and co-ops can learn from each other.